The Real Story of Christmas
by W. Jeffrey Marsh
At one time, the Prophet Joseph Smith announced that he intended to publish his new translation of the New Testament (presently known as the “Joseph Smith Translation” or JST, under the same cover as the Book of Mormon. He apparently felt that these two books, together, contained some of the clearest declarations in scripture that Jesus is the Redeemer, the Savior, the divine Son of God. Elder Bruce R. McConkie said, “The Joseph Smith Translation… is a thousand times over the best Bible now existing on earth…It is one of the great evidences of [Joseph Smith’s] prophetic call.” (“The Bible-A Sealed Book,” CES Symposium on the New Testament, Brigham Young University, 1984, p. 5.) The JST was one of the most important “branches of [Joseph Smith’s] calling” (see LDS Bible Dictionary, p. 717) in the doctrinal restoration in this final dispensation of the fulness of all times.
Using both the Joseph Smith Translation and the Book of Mormon, I have compiled the real story of Christmas below. Of all the things we could read this Christmas season, the real story of the Savior’s birth from the two of the best testaments we have, is spiritually rewarding and enlightening reading experience. As President Howard W. Hunter counseled, taking time to ponder the real meaning of Christmas makes a huge difference at this time of year: “If you desire to find the true spirit of Christmas and partake of the sweetness of it, let me make this suggestion to you. During the hurry of the festive occasion of this Christmas season, find time to turn your heart to God. Perhaps in the quiet hours, and in a quiet place, and on your knees — alone or with loved ones — give thanks for the good things that have come to you, and ask that his Spirit might dwell in you as you earnestly strive to serve him and keep his commandments. He will take you by the hand and his promises will be kept.” (Howard W. Hunter, “The Deeper Meaning of Christmas,” BYU Devotional, 5 December 1972, p. 69; see also “Teachings of Howard W. Hunter” p. 271)
Prophecies of the Savior’s Birth
Isaiah (JST Isaiah 9:6-7)
6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace there is no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
Nephi (1 Nephi 11:13-21.)
13 And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the great city of Jerusalem, and also other cities. And I beheld the city of Nazareth; and in the city of Nazareth I beheld a virgin, and she was exceedingly fair and white.
14 And it came to pass that I saw the heavens open; and an angel came down and stood before me; and he said unto me: Nephi, what beholdest thou?
15 And I said unto him: A virgin, most beautiful and fair above all other virgins.
16 And he said unto me: Knowest thou the condescension of God?
17 And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.
18 And he said unto me: Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh.
19 And it came to pass that I beheld that she was carried away in the Spirit; and after she had been carried away in the Spirit for the space of a time the angel spake unto me, saying: Look!
20 And I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms.
21 And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father! Knowest thou the meaning of the tree which thy father saw?
Alma (Alma 7:10-13.)
10 And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.
11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
13 Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.
Samuel the Lamanite (Helaman 14:1-9.)
1 And now it came to pass that Samuel, the Lamanite, did prophesy a great many more things which cannot be written.
2 And behold, he said unto them: Behold, I give unto you a sign; for five years more cometh, and behold, then cometh the Son of God to redeem all those who shall believe on his name.
3 And behold, this will I give unto you for a sign at the time of his coming; for behold, there shall be great lights in heaven, insomuch that in the night before he cometh there shall be no darkness, insomuch that it shall appear unto man as if it was day.
4 Therefore, there shall be one day and a night and a day, as if it were one day and there were no night; and this shall be unto you for a sign; for ye shall know of the rising of the sun and also of its setting; therefore they shall know of a surety that there shall be two days and a night; nevertheless the night shall not be darkened; and it shall be the night before he is born.
5 And behold, there shall a new star arise, such an one as ye never have beheld; and this also shall be a sign unto you.
6 And behold this is not all, there shall be many signs and wonders in heaven.
7 And it shall come to pass that ye shall all be amazed, and wonder, insomuch that ye shall fall to the earth.
8 And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall believe on the Son of God, the same shall have everlasting life.
9 And behold, thus hath the Lord commanded me, by his angel, that I should come and tell this thing unto you; yea, he hath commanded that I should prophesy these things unto you; yea, he hath said unto me: Cry unto this people, repent and prepare the way of the Lord.
Annunciation to Zacharias (JST Luke 1:5-79)
5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia; and his wife being of the daughters of Aaron, and her name Elizabeth,
6 Were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless;
7 And they had no child. Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well stricken in years.
8 And while he executed the priest’s office before God, in the order of his priesthood,
9 According to the law, (his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord,)
10 The whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.
11 And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord, standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
12 And when Zacharias saw the angel, he was troubled and fear fell upon him.
13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias, for thy prayer is heard, and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.
14 Thou shalt have joy and gladness, and many shall rejoice at his birth;
15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.
16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God;
17 And he shall go before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
18 And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife is well stricken in years.
19 And the angel answering, said unto him, I am Gabriel, who stand in the presence of God, and am sent to speak unto thee, and to show thee these glad tidings.
20 And behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words which shall be fulfilled in their season.
21 And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he tarried so long in the temple.
22 And when he came out, he could not speak unto them; and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple; for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless.
23 And as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he
departed to his own house.
24 And after those days, his wife Elizabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying,
25 Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach from among men.
Annunciation to Mary (JST Luke 1:26-38)
26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God, unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth.
27 To a virgin, espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
28 And the angel came in unto her and said, Hail, thou virgin, who art highly favored of the Lord. The Lord is with thee, for thou art chosen and blessed among women.
29 And when she saw the angel, she was troubled at his saying, and pondered in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favor with God.
31 And behold, thou shalt conceive, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name Jesus.
32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David;
33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
34 Then said Mary unto the angel; How can this be?
35 And the angel answered and said unto her, Of the Holy Ghost, and the power of the Highest. Therefore also, that holy child that shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
36 And behold, thy cousin Elizabeth, she hath also conceived a son, in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her who is called barren.
37 For with God nothing can be impossible.
38 And Mary said, Behold the handmade of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
Mary visits Elizabeth (JST Luke 1:39-55)
39 And in those days, Mary went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda,
40 And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elizabeth.
41 And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb.
42 And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost, and she spake out with a loud voice and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
43 And why is it, that this blessing is upon me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
44 And blessed art thou who believed, for those things which were told thee by the angel of the Lord, shall be fulfilled.
45 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
46 And my spirit rejoiceth in God my Savior.
47 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden; for behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
48 For he who is mighty hath done to me great things; and I will magnify his holy name,
49 For his mercy on those who fear him from generation to generation.
50 He hath showed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
51 He hath put down the mighty from their high seats; and exalted them of low degree.
52 He hath filled the hungry with good things; but the rich he hath sent empty away.
53 He hath helped his servant Israel in remembrance of mercy,
54 As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed forever.
55 And Mary abode with Elizabeth about three months, and returned to her own house.
Birth of John the Baptist (JST Luke 1:56-64)
56 And now Elizabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.
57 And her neighbors, and her cousins heard how the Lord had showed great mercy unto her; and they rejoiced with her.
58 And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father.
59 And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John.
60 And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name.
61 And they made signs to his father, and asked him how he would have him called.
62 And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John, and they all marveled.
63 And his mouth was opened immediately, and he spake with his tongue, and praised God.
64 And fear came on all who dwelt round about them. And all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judea.
65 And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be? And the hand of the Lord was with him.
66 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,
67 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,
68 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us, in the house of his servant David,
69 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, ever since the world began,
70 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all those who hate us;
71 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;
72 The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,
73 That he would grant unto us, that we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear,
74 In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our lives.
75 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest, for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways,
76 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people, by baptism for the remission of their sins,
77 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the day-spring from on high hath visited us,
78 To give light to them who sit in darkness and the shadow of death; to guide our feet into the way of peace.
79 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts until the day of his showing unto Israel.
Annunciation to Joseph (JST Matthew 2:1-8.)
1 Now, as it is written, the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise. After his mother, Mary, was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
2 Then Joseph, her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.
3 But while he thought on there things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a vision, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife; for that which is conceived in her, is of
the Holy Ghost.
4 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus; for he shall save his people from their sins.
5 Now this took place, that all things might be fulfilled, which were spoken of the Lord, by the prophets, saying,
6 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, (which, being interpreted, is, God with us.)
7 Then Joseph, awaking out of his vision, did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife;
8 And knew her not until she had brought forth her first-born son; and they called his name Jesus.
Journey to Bethlehem (JST Luke 2:1-6.)
1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all his empire should be taxed.
2 This same taxing was when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.
3 And all went to be taxed, every one in his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David,)
5 To be taxed, with Mary his espoused wife, she being great with child.
6 And so it was, that while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
Ancient America — The Night Before the Savior’s Birth (3 Nephi 1:4-23.)
4 And it came to pass that in the commencement of the ninety and second year, behold, the prophecies of the prophets began to be fulfilled more fully; for there began to be greater signs and greater miracles wrought among the people.
5 But there were some who began to say that the time was past for the words to be fulfilled, which were spoken by Samuel, the Lamanite.
6 And they began to rejoice over their brethren, saying: Behold the time is past, and the words of Samuel are not fulfilled; therefore, your joy and your faith concerning this thing hath been vain.
7 And it came to pass that they did make a great uproar throughout the land; and the people who believed began to be very sorrowful, lest by any means those things which had been spoken might not come to pass.
8 But behold, they did watch steadfastly for that day and that night and that day which should be as one day as if there were no night, that they might know that their faith had not been vain.
9 Now it came to pass that there was a day set apart by the unbelievers, that all those who believed in those traditions should be put to death except the sign should come to pass, which had been given by Samuel the prophet.
10 Now it came to pass that when Nephi, the son of Nephi, saw this wickedness of his people, his heart was exceedingly sorrowful.
11 And it came to pass that he went out and bowed himself down upon the earth, and cried mightily to his God in behalf of his people, yea, those who were about to be destroyed because of their faith in the tradition of their fathers.
12 And it came to pass that he cried mightily unto the Lord all that day; and behold, the voice of the Lord came unto him, saying:
13 Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets.
14 Behold, I come unto my own, to fulfil all things which I have made known unto the children of men from the foundation of the world, and to do the will, both of the Father and of the Son-of the Father because of me, and of the Son because of my flesh. And behold, the time is at hand, and this night shall the sign be given.
15 And it came to pass that the words which came unto Nephi were fulfilled, according as they had been spoken; for behold, at the going down of the sun there was no darkness; and the people began to be astonished because there was no darkness when the night came.
16 And there were many, who had not believed the words of the prophets, who fell to the earth and became as if they were dead, for they knew that the great plan of destruction which they had laid for those who believed in the words of the prophets had been frustrated; for the sign which had been given was already at hand.
17 And they began to know that the Son of God must shortly appear; yea, in fine, all the people upon the face of the whole earth from the west to the east, both in the land north and in the land south, were so exceedingly astonished that they fell to the earth.
18 For they knew that the prophets had testified of these things for many years, and that the sign which had been given was already at hand; and they began to fear because of their iniquity and their unbelief.
19 And it came to pass that there was no darkness in all that night, but it was as light as though it was mid-day. And it came to pass that the sun did rise in the morning again, according to its proper order; and they knew that it was the day that the Lord should be born, because of the sign which had been given.
20 And it had come to pass, yea, all things, every whit, according to the words of the prophets.
21 And it came to pass also that a new star did appear, according to the word.
22 And it came to pass that from this time forth there began to be lyings sent forth among the people, by Satan, to harden their hearts, to the intent that they might not believe in those signs and wonders which they had seen; but notwithstanding these lyings and deceivings the more part of the people did believe, and were converted unto the Lord.
23 And it came to pass that Nephi went forth among the people, and also many others, baptizing unto repentance, in the which there was a great remission of sins. And thus the people began again to have peace in the land.
The Birth of the Messiah (JST Luke 2:7-20.)
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was none to give room for them in the inns.
8 And there were in the same country, shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night.
9 And lo, an angel of the Lord appeared unto them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were sore afraid.
10 But the angel said unto them, Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
12 And this is the way you shall find the babe, he is wrapped in swaddling clothes, and is lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel, a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest; and on earth, peace; good will to men.
15 And it came to pass, when the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go, even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord has made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17 And when they had seen, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
18 All they who heard it, wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds;
19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.
20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things which they had heard and seen, as they were manifested unto them.
Presentation at the Temple (JST Luke 2:21-39.)
21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus; which was so named of the angel, before he was conceived.
22 And when the days of her purification, according to the law of Moses, were accomplished; they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;
23 As it is written in the law of the Lord, every male which openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;
24 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is written in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtle doves, or two young pigeons.
25 And behold, there was a man at Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.
27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child, even Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
29 Lord, now lettest thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word;
30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
33 And Joseph, and Mary, marveled at those things which were spoken of the child.
34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;
35 Yea, a spear shall pierce through him to the wounding of thine own soul also; that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of great age, and had lived with a husband only seven years, whom she married in her youth,
37 And she lived a widow about fourscore and four years, who departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers, night and day.
38 And she, coming in that instant, gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him, to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
39 And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee to their own city, Nazareth.
Visit of the Wise Men (JST Matthew 3:1-25.)
1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
2 Saying, Where is the child that is born, the Messiah of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and have come to worship him.
3 When Herod the king had heard of the child, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests, and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them, saying, Where is the place that is written of by the prophets, in which Christ should be born? For he greatly feared, yet he believed not the prophets.
5 And they said unto him, It is written by the prophets, that he should be born in Bethlehem of Judea, for thus have they said,
6 The word of the Lord came unto us, saying, And thou Bethlehem, which lieth in the land of Judea, in thee shall be born a prince, which art not the least among the princes of Judea; for out of thee shall come the Messiah, who shall save my people Israel.
7 Then Herod, when he had called the wise men privily, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found the child, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and lo, the star which they saw in the east, went before them, until it came and stood over where the young child was.
10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child, with Mary his mother, and fell down and worshiped him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and
12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.
13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord, appeared to Joseph in a vision, saying, Arise and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and tarry thou there until I bring thee word; for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
14 And then he arose, and took the young child, and the child’s mother, by night, and departed into Egypt;
15 And was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord, by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my Son.
16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth; and sent forth and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.
17 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying,
18 In Ramah there was a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning; Rachael weeping for the loss of her children, and would not be comforted because they were not.
19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a vision to Joseph in Egypt,
20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel; for they are dead who sought the young child’s life.
21 And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.
22 But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judea, in the stead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither; but, notwithstanding, being warned of God in a vision, he went into the eastern part of Galilee;
23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.
24 And it came to pass that Jesus grew up with his brethren, and waxed strong, and waited upon the Lord for the time of his ministry to come.
25 And he served under his father, and he spake not as other men, neither could he be taught; for he needed not that any man should teach him.
Jesus as a Child (Doctrine and Covenants 93:8-14)
8 Therefore, in the beginning the Word was, for he was the Word, even the messenger of salvation-
9 The light and the Redeemer of the world; the Spirit of truth, who came into the world, because the world was made by him, and in him was the life of men and the light of men.
10 The worlds were made by him; men were made by him; all things were made by him, and through him, and of him.
11 And I, John, bear record that I beheld his glory, as the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, even the Spirit of truth, which came and dwelt in the flesh, and dwelt among us.
12 And I, John, saw that he received not of the fulness at the first, but received grace for grace;
13 And he received not of the fulness at first, but continued from grace to grace, until he received a fulness;
14 And thus he was called the Son of God, because he received not of the fulness at the first.
(JST Luke 2:40-52)
40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, being filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.
41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.
42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem, after the custom, to the feast.
43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind, in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not that he tarried;
44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among his kindred and acquaintance,
45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.
46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, and they were hearing him, and asking him questions.
47 And all who heard him were astonished at his understanding, and answers.
48 And when his parents saw him, they were amazed; and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? Behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.
49 And he said unto them, Why is it that ye sought me? Knew ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?
50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.
51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them. And his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.
52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
JST Matthew 3
26 And after many years, the hour of his ministry drew nigh.
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